Here’s a question.
If Radical Rick lands an impossible trick (say, a 720 double barspin with a tail whip thrown in) and nobody sees him… did he really land it?
Knowing Radical Rick, the answer is yes. Probably without breaking a sweat. But the whole ‘if a tree falls but nobody hears it’ debate brings us to a harder question—can a timeless BMX legend exist without his fans?
Put another way, would there be any Batman without Gotham City? Any Beatles without shrieking teenagers? Any Green Bay Packers without a stadium full of cheeseheads? Would Tony Hawk as we know him exist without those who watched him finally pin a 900 to the wall?
Scary thought, isn’t it?
The more we think about it, the loyal, one-of-a-kind fandom might be one thing (or to get all high-falutin, one state of being) Radical Rick can’t pull off by himself.
From his early days in BMX Plus! to costumes, tattoos, bobbleheads, a near video game, and art drops that sell faster than the next iphone, it’s you, dear reader, who made Radical Rick possible.
He’d be nowhere without the raddest fans alive.
Radical Rick fan Kurt Kohler is a prime example of what we’re talking about.
Not long ago, Kurt sent us some pics of his custom Radical Rick 26" beach cruiser. How far does Kurt’s devotion to all things rad go? Look no further (or lower) than the custom Radical Rick cranks.
Just another example of an overactive rad gland proving all too contagious.
Art Drop Alert!
This one’s coming at you on September 9th at 9 AM.
If the sheer radness of that announcement just gave you short term memory loss, don’t worry—just remember that’s 9 9 9!
You already know that Damian’s art sells fast. Your best chance is showing up at the art page of RadicalRickBMX.com before the start time.
See you there, or have fun being square!
Speaking of Whether or Not Radical Rick exists…
This gem’s from September of 81.
Boys and girls, this is what we call a classic setup—a way of building a hero’s legend before he even pedals across the page.
Over breakfast, pipsqueak brothers Michael and Matthew fight over whether or not the Radical Rick they’ve seen in BMX Plus really exists. Smitten with rivalry, and with one year’s worth of chores at stake, they pedal out to Crushed Crank Canyon for a look.
Wouldn’t you know it?
In his best (and no doubt fastest) Sasquatch impression, Radical Rick settles the bet… and rad fans everywhere crack a smile.
Of course, kiddos. Of course he exists.
By the way… if you love seeing these snippets of Radical Rick, we’ve got some seriously rad news. *Drumroll* The long awaited Radical Rick Episode Collection has finally gone to print!
More on this coming up. Much, much, more.
One Fan’s Story
Too many fans have loved Radical Rick since the very beginning—all incredible.
We hate to pick one.
But that being said, when a jack comes up you better slap it.
Catching up with designer, punk rocker, and longtime BMX fanatic Rob Huddleston gave us the perfect chance to dig into one small corner of Radical Rick fandom. If Rob’s story isn’t a portrait of Damian’s impact on young riders, and how a monthly comic strip can spark a killer friendship between fan and legend, we don’t know what is.
Writing from Virginia, where he and some BMX buds run a lean, mean, racing crew, Rob remembers where it all started.
“My history with Radical Rick is a very typical story of any 80's BMX kid. Starting sometime in eighty-three or eighty-four, I started reading BMX Plus! Magazine. One of the highlights in each issue that I immediately went to was the Radical Rick comic in the back of each issue—not to mention the reason I initially subscribed.
“Radical Rick and Damian’s other characters were also something I tried to mimic, if not copy in my own artwork. They even inspired me to draw my own comics as a teen. I drew, or attempted to draw, Radical Rick and MX Mug every chance I got… but never felt I did the character any true justice.”
“As an adult I still ride BMX. I even began racing again with my son in 2017. For our first Halloween race event I made two costumes to be worn at various events. Once was a set of Cru Jones costumes, but the other, of course, was a Radical Rick costume that I still wear each year.”
Rad costumes at the VMP BMX Halloween Race 2021. Dinwiddie, VA
Rob at 2022’s BMX Halloween Race in Richmond, VA
“The fourteen year old me would never have thought that one day as an adult I'd own a large number of original Radical Rick artwork. Or that I’d get to know Damian personally and be able to work on projects with him. It’s a dream come true, honestly.”
What a ride, Rob—and we all know that it’s not over yet.
If there’s anything wilder than Radical Rick foiling Mean Inc. and saving the day, it’s a rad fan turned professional designer who still rides, still rocks… and has his eye on passing the riding torch to the next generation.
Like a true Jedi Master.
Thanks for sharing some of your ride with us.
A Few More for the Road
Because we can’t resist…
Here’s Rob sporting his costume at 2019’s Radshare / FBM Bike Company’s DIY World Finals, held at Power’s Bike Shop in Richmond.
Rob with FBM founder Steve Crandall.
… and here’s Rob’s Radical Rick arm tattoo, courtesy of tattoo artist Freeman Martin.
Last but not least, here’s another Radical Rick tattoo on the arm of Chad Powers.
With the owner of Powers’ Bike Shop and BMX Museum willing to wear you proudly everywhere he goes… you know you’ve made history.
You certainly are.
There’s a bond between fans, between those who remember the legend of Radical Rick and continue to live it out in their own endeavors. And if those endeavors look like a costume, a drawing, or your own unique shrine the radster, send us a pic!
We love you, rad fans.
You’re the apple of Damian’s eye.Now before this gets too mushy, remember one thing… stay rad, and don’t be a wimp!